Saturday, December 17, 2011

Advent 2011 : Day 21

Evangelists carry good news.  The primary focus of their message is not what could or even will be, but what is both new and news-worthy.  So an evangelist might spread the word of a new cafe that has opened up in the neighbourhood...

For an evangelist, waiting is particularly active in nature.  It involves searching out the good news they will then carry to others.  In this way, their news remains new, does not go stale.

In Luke’s nativity account, the shepherds have to search for the new-born Saviour before they find him and then spread the news.  Contrary to popular misconception, Jesus was undoubtedly born in a home.  As homes were shared with animals, a manger is commonplace...though that Jesus was placed in a manger was a specific clue the angel gave the shepherds to help them verify that they had found him.  One might wonder how many doors they knocked on before finding the child they were looking for, just as easily as wondering how many doors they knocked on after finding him.

I think of a friend who is an evangelist.  Because they love Jesus, they search out stories of how Jesus is transforming people’s lives in the neighbourhood where he lives, and shares those stories with others.  But he is also an ornithologist; and because he is an evangelist, he travels in search of rare bird sightings, and then tells others where to go to see what he has seen.  He is created an evangelist: it is not simply a function, a speaking of Jesus; rather, it shapes what and how he speaks of Jesus – and any other interesting and good news.

If you are an evangelist, your waiting will be characterised by searching out the new thing God is up to where you live, paying particular attention to the easily-overlooked things others might not notice...

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